Everyone knows Robin Williams was a fantastic comedian. Since the late 1970s, he’s been keeping us laughing at everything from politics to drug addiction to confused children and dystopian futures. Most people also knew he was an excellent dramatic actor, thanks to movies like Good Will Hunting and Dead Poet’s Society, but did you know he was also an excellent “bad guy” and was great as being “dark”? Perhaps he was drawing from something inside himself. Here are five of his best “dark” movies:
The Final Cut:
In the near future when everyone has the option of recording their entire life experience via a memory implant chip, Williams’ character is a “cutter”. His job is to create the movie-length “highlight reel” upon someone’s death. In fact he’s known as one of the best in the business. The thing is, we all have the skeletons, right? Having them in the closet keeps them out of sight, but video of the skeletons could change the story others tell themselves about us. Rotten Tomatoes gives this movie a lowly 37%, but never mind that.
World’s Greatest Dad:
In this highly-rated box office flop, Williams plays Lance Clayton, a frustrated writer who’s also frustrated dad. Frankly, his son is a dick. After not measuring up to his own expectations well into adulthood, a major life event changes his social disposition for the better. Without meaning to give spoilers, this one might strike too many nerves with people who are bothered by Williams’ death. It’s a black comedy directed by Bobcat Goldthwait and there’s a cameo by Bruce Hornsby, a certain recipe for weird, right?
One Hour Photo:
If you like “creepy”, then this is your flick. Seymour “Sy” Parrish is a tech in the photo development department of a retail store. Sy prides himself on doing the best job possible to make sure his customer’s prints are excellent, especially his favorite customers, the Yorkin family. Witnessing their life though the photos he develops, he becomes quite emotionally attached to them. It you’re a photography buff, you might notice that several of the film’s characters are named after famous photographers.
What Dreams May Come:
This one doesn’t have a great Rotten Tomatoes score, but Roger Ebert liked it. The special effects are fantastic and a lot of imagination went into the sets leading to it’s Academy Award for best visual effects. This one can be heartbreakingly dark at times, but it’s also a romantic love story. If you don’t believe in Heaven and Hell, then you’re going to have to suspend disbelief for this one.
A Christopher Nolan film, this thriller also stars Al Pacino and Hilary Swank. It’s a crime drama where it’s tough to determine who’s the “good guy” and who’s bad. It’s set in Alaska during the summer, when it stays bright all day and night. Really this is more a Pacino film, but Robin Williams plays his role excellently.
Robin Williams photo by Creative Commons 2.0 from Flickr user hotgossipitalia